Big Hearted Bali

IMG_5099Sometimes in life you are just super lucky. On this day twelve months ago, I was sharing lunch with a special group, enjoying the most delicious food from the loving kitchen of Villa Gaia, Ubud Bali. The incredible Clare Bowditch had just spent the morning talking with us about Big Fat Dreams & authenticity. Jessie Neave, Yoga Goddess had led us through another perfect morning class and Pip Lincolne, my Creative Hero was taking us for our final Crafternoon Session where we were making felt headdresses for the evenings “Dance Off”. Not a bad day right? Up there with the best times ever.

A few months before when the Big Hearted Business Retreat info landed in my inbox, I thought ” Holy cow that would be ahhhhhmazing, I’m going to apply right now, before I talk myself out of it”. I really didn’t think I would get to go, but if I didn’t apply, I really wouldn’t get to go, so “do it” I thought. I almost burst into tears when I heard “Hi, it’s Lisa from BHB” on the end of the phone. Thanks to some very special people in my life, I was in a mini bus racing through the streets of Bali heading to the mountains before I knew it. Yahoo!IMG_5108

Bali was beautiful and chaotic, colourful and ancient.  A few of us caught up the night before the retreat to have a meal and put the face to the names as we’d all met through facebook.  We shared how we’re all feeling pretty darn excited and lucky, plus a smidge scared about the week ahead.


A big part of the retreat was to learn about running our businesses and lives more creatively. How to make room for more of the good stuff and let go of what was holding us back, but also how to nuture healthy routine, persistence, resilience, confidence and how not to be a dick.

The week was expansive, challenging, utterly beautiful, often hilarious, insightful & a blessing in every sense of the word. Our gorgeous hosts were generous, genuine, pushed us out of ourselves, but not over the edge. Everyone was safe, there was little or no melodrama.  There was lots of singing and dancing.

My fellow BHBers, were a group of hardworking, kindhearted, community- minded, curious resourceful ladies, plus one brave man too! It amazed me how many common threads there were between usand I’m pleased to say a special little tribe, who I still feel very connected to. Our relationships continue to grow as we help support each other with our BFD. (Big Fat Dreams).

Upon returning home, I wanted to keep the week away quite private. It had been really special, I wanted to somehow contain it. Many friends asked to share insights, advice etc. “Tell me, Tell me, Tell me, ” I loved their enthusiasm, but found it hard to put the week into words.IMG_5120

There was one day on the retreat however I did tell them about….

It was the Wednesday and we were heading up through the rice paddies and jungle to an ancient stone temple for a water ceremony. The lovely Jessie had organised for us to participate in a blessing ceremony where you enter pools of water and with a combination of gratitude and splashing water over your head, you connect with different parts of your life. It was beautiful, calming (except for the fish that were nibbling people’s toes) and a ritual that had been practised for hundreds of years.

After leaving the water, our little tribe headed up to an open air temple. There we knelt and the Holy Men, gave us each a blessing, pressed rice into our third eye and placed flowers behind our ears. As the flowers were placed behind my ear, I had the intense feeling of how at that very moment, all over the world, flowers were being used in meaningful personal and public ceremonies. I saw weddings, funerals, christenings, people in their gardens, vast fields of tulips, wild flowers and healers all in a five second movie in my minds eye. “Wow!” At that moment my connection with flowers and their significance to people all over the planet deepened and felt timeless.

It was truly inspiring and probably a little bit Woowoo, but feeling of connection has stayed with me ever since.IMG_5134

So now I would love to know, have you ever won aspot in something wonderful? Do you get the chance to go away and pursue something you love? Is there a ritual in your life that is meaningful to you?

4 Comment on “Big Hearted Bali

  • Dani @ sand has no home

    November 6, 2015 at 5:53 am

    I did Clare’s Sing Song Showtime last month and it was truly amazing and transformative. I met someone there who had gone to Bali the previous year, but it was right at the start and I don’t remember her name. I needed that day so badly and it has rejuvenated me so much.
    Dani @ sand has no home recently posted…She Sells SunshineMy Profile

  • Sandra Kelly

    June 22, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Oh this is lovely! It sounds like you had a really magical time. Isn’t it just divine when you have a moment that connects you to way beyond yourself? Lovely post. Xx

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